Overview of Chapter R: In 1797, a young British navy doctor was convicted of mutiny and sentenced to transportation to Australia. Redfern served his sentence and proved able to integrate himself back into society as a result of his vocation. By the end of his life Redfern had become the father of Australian medicine. The chapter explores the conditions Redfern and those around him faced, from prisoners and patients to Aboriginal Australians. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the consequences of British imperialism in Australia with a focus on the community of Redfern.
1. Do you think Redfern was complicit in the abuses that occurred on Norfolk Island?
2. How does Redfern's reaction to not securing the promotion at Macquarie Street Hospital shape your understanding of his character?
3. How does the Aboriginal struggle for rights and recognition relate to Black Lives Matter?
1. Compare Redfern to an American, British, Canadian, or New Zealand doctor about 1800. Does Redfern now seem more or less distinguished?
2. Research what has happened in the community of Redfern, Australia since 2019. Does this represent progress? For whom?
3. Compare the history of Redfern with a non-majority white neighborhood in or near a city you know. What are the similarities and differences?
• For a study that outlines tensions over water rights in the Darling River Basin in Australia, and assesses public attitudes towards providing Aboriginal Australians with preferences, see Sue Jackson, Darla Hatton MacDonald, and Rosalind H. Bark, “Public Attitudes to Inequality in Water Distribution: Insights From Preferences for Water Reallocation From Irrigators to Aboriginal Australians,” Water Resources Research, 55, 7 (July 2019), https://doi.org/10.1029/2019WR025011
• For a detailed analysis of property ownership in Redfern, see: Pratichi Chatterjee, Sydney Dispossessions: Accounts of Property and Time in the City, [Doctor of Philosophy thesis], School of Geosciences, University of Sydney, 2020, https://hdl.handle.net/2123/22915
This speech, given in Redfern, Australia by Prime Minister Paul Keating in 1992 remains one of the most important in Australian history.
This 2017 report from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation presents the history of Redfern and includes interviews with local leaders.
Map for Chapter R: This map by the author is in the print edition of the book and shows the important places important to Redfern outside of the immediate Sydney area.
Map for Chapter R: This map by the author is in the print edition of the book and shows the areas in Sydney and its environs that were important to Redfern.
HMS 'Clyde' Arriving at Sheerness After the 'Nore' Mutiny, 30 May 1797, by William Joy. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. This mutiny was the one in which Redfern participated.
Those convicted of murder and treason were hanged as this mural of a village gallows in England shows. Photograph by the author in the Hyde Parks Barracks Museum, Sydney, April 2015.
Until the start of Transportation, criminals were often housed in old, rotting ships in The Thames. These ships were called hulks. Photograph by the author in the Hyde Parks Barracks Museum, Sydney, April 2015.
“Sydney Cove, West Side, 1810,” watercolor attributed to G.W. Evans, courtesy of the Mitchell Library/State Library of New South Wales, Sydney, IE3251572.